Tag: volkswagen electric vehicles
Volkswagen is all about electric vehicles lately, but all the automakers major plans for the future hinge on top-level battery technology. Without a high quality battery the EVs simply won’t drive far enough or fast enough to be worthwhile. That’s why Volkswagen is putting in the time and effort to locate the very best battery tech available, and to making sure that it’s leveraging this technology as much as possible. The automaker is hard at work with many battery developers looking for the latest advancements and the technology that is going to make its electric vehicles stand out.
Creating the Perfect Battery Module
Volkswagen has quite the problem on its hands, but once it’s solved, the automaker will be able to produce small and large EVs using the same exact battery technology. Essentially Volkswagen is looking for a way to create lightweight batteries that produce ample power and run efficiently in any configuration they’re needed in. In other words, whether the space available is cylindrical, square or any other odd shape, Volkswagen will be able to fill it up with efficient batteries to do the job properly. This is the goal of all Volkswagen’s careful engineering meetings, and it’s something that the automaker is working hard at to achieve, but something that hasn’t been accomplished yet.
Developing More Potent Battery Cells
Volkswagen isn’t just working on coming up with the perfect packaging or setup for its battery cells, it’s also working hard on coming up with new more potent cells to use in its vehicles. The automaker is partnered with a bunch of different electronics companies that are all hard at work developing the latest battery technologies. By working with so many different companies, Volkswagen is hopeful that some major breakthroughs will come along in the next year or two to create much more capable batteries for its vehicles. There is a 60 amp-hour cell that’s currently being tested, which would offer dramatic improvements over the 37 amp-hour version that Volkswagen is currently waiting to go into production. Even the 37 amp-hour cells offer enough power to allow the Budd-E concept to travel more than 200 miles on a single charge. It will be very exciting to see what the 60 amp-hour cells are able to achieve.
Working with All Cell Shapes
In order to achieve the best level of performance out of its batteries, Volkswagen is working with pouch shaped, prismatic shaped and cylindrical shaped batteries in order to find what works the absolute best. Many automakers are simply choosing one technology and sticking with it. That’s the strategy of massive EV maker Tesla, but it might not be the right way to go, at least not in this crucial period of development. By not committing to any one cell toplogy, Volkswagen might be able to get better performance improvements out of the one that it finally decides to go with, or the automaker could take advantage of advancements that haven’t come along just yet.
Volkswagen has big plans for its future, and those plans include lots of batteries and electric vehicles. That’s exactly why the automaker has been on the lookout for a place to set up shop for a massive battery production facility. Volkswagen has looked at many countries for possible locations, but China seems to make the most sense when considering all the benefits, and that’s the location that Volkswagen is most seriously considering for the very first battery facility at the very least, and maybe several of them.
Volkswagen is considering China is the location for its massive battery factory because the automaker believes the country will adopt EVs and full electronic mobility long before other countries do. Leaders at Volkswagen spoke about the country’s huge push toward electric vehicles and how it’s a much bigger priority in China than in other sections of the world.
A Massive Battery Plant Investment
Volkswagen is predicting that approximately a third of all the vehicles it produces by 2025 are going to be electric. In order to keep up with those huge estimates the automaker will have to have a total of 10 different battery plants, each of which will cost approximately 2.4 billion dollars, for a total investment of 24 billion. That’s one of the largest investments into battery technology, and it’s something that only one of the largest automakers in the world would be able to sustain.
Why China is Interested
China is pushing for electrification in hopes that moving to full electric technology will reduce issues with smog and air pollution that it is suffering from so heavily. While other countries are focusing on just reducing the emissions produced by automobiles, China realizes that the best approach is just to remove them entirely, and that’s exactly what adopting electric vehicles would do for the country.
Not only does China provide an ideal environment to build the very first VW battery factory on such a massive scale, but because the country is so interested in electrification, it’s possible that it will put in half the money toward the factory. This would allow Volkswagen to enjoy the benefits of its first factory while cutting the automaker’s investment in half.
Volkswagen is planning on making a dramatic change to its lineup, and investing big in a battery plant is just the way to do it.
Volkswagen is on the verge of making a very dramatic decision for the future of the company. It’s thinking about investing close to $11 billion towards a massive battery factory, similar to what Tesla is using, but on an even larger scale. This investment would be to help Volkswagen push further into the electric vehicle market, and become one of the leading automakers in the industry.
Will the Move Happen?
There’s no guarantee that Volkswagen is even going to go ahead with the decision. It’s just a good idea at this point and the automaker is considering making the move. Whether or not it actually happens depends on the board at Volkswagen. There’s a vote on the factory later on this month, and if that vote goes through the automaker will be pushing hard into electric vehicle technology, becoming a serious competitor for Tesla.
Why Even Bother?
There are plenty of good reasons to consider building such a massive facility for building batteries. The first and most obvious is the efficiencies of scale. Building a massive facility makes everything more affordable. It will enable the company to develop batteries for a fraction of the cost, something that’s very important to do when you’re producing electric vehicles. Having this capability means that Volkswagen can develop vehicles without relying on a battery giant like Samsung or Panasonic to do the work for them. That will save the automaker more money and give them more control over the final product as well.
The Ultimate Goal
The factory is all part of Volkswagen’s next big plan. According to the company plans are in place to try and sell about 1 million electric and hybrid plugin vehicles by 2025, a goal that Tesla plans to reach by 2020. That’s a significant figure for electric vehicles, but both automakers expect the market to expand and electric vehicles to become more affordable at the same time.
If Volkswagen does get a massive battery factory like Tesla, the automaker will soon be a household name for electric vehicles. It could even take over that industry with all the resources that it has to put towards research and development and production. It’s an exciting prospect for fans of the electric vehicle, and it’s not a bad idea for a company like Volkswagen looking to the future.
Volkswagen recently made it known that it’s going to be focusing on electric car technology more often. While I wouldn’t expect a mass explosion of EVs from the VW headquarters anytime soon, the company did make a commitment to producing up to 20 hybrids/EVs by 2020, set up an electric vehicle subdivision within the country and decided to actually release the electric microbus that received so much publicity after being shown off at CES.
The Electric Vehicle Subdivision
Volkswagen put together a subdivision of the company designed specifically to further electric vehicle production. This smaller subset of the massive corporation is designed to be more agile. It can make changes faster and hopefully lead to more revolutionary electric vehicles in general.
When the division was created Volkswagen focused on a commitment of releasing 20 different hybrid vehicles and EV’s by 2020. That’s a major undertaking and a massive investment in batteries, electric motors and electric vehicle architecture. The commitment says that Volkswagen is committed to producing electric vehicles and sees value in it later on down the road.
The Electric Micro Bus
At the Consumer Electronics Show this year Volkswagen showed off the Budd-e concept. It’s a full-electric micro-bus very similar to the older microbus Volkswagen sold that surfers are known for being so fond of. This concept comes along with some pretty cool features, the first of which is a 200 to 300 mile full-electric range. The second is an 80% recharge time of just 15 minutes. That means you could travel farther with less difficulty without relying on fossil fuels.
The coolest part of that little futuristic van, bus, or whatever you want to call it, is that Volkswagen is actually going to make it and sell it. Unlike most crazy concept vehicles, Volkswagen is actually backing up its product. It will be sold to the general public and the automaker plans to release it by 2020.
In a time when many automakers are doing everything they can to keep up with government regulations without relying on hybrids and full electric vehicles, it’s refreshing to see a company embracing electric vehicles so fully, and Volkswagen could be one of the leaders in electric vehicle technology by 2020 with its current pace.
It’s no surprise that the automotive industry isn’t great for the world, but we continue to purchase new vehicles and demand more powerful, more feature rich and largely more capable cars, trucks and SUVs to come out each and every year. Many people strive to improve the environment without even realizing the impact that their own purchases make on the environment. Needless to say that companies like Volkswagen are left to figure out how to meet those demands while also reducing their impact on the environment. Part of this is because of federal MPG and emission mandates, but that’s not all. Most automakers legitimately want to help improve the environment as well, and Volkswagen is working quite hard to do its part.
Reducing Vehicle Emissions
Volkswagen has plans to reduce vehicle emissions and fuel consumption by as much as 40% between 2010 and 2020. While we’re already tipping past the halfway point to that goal at present the company is still working hard to meet the reduction goal and strives to make incremental improvements each and every year. IN order to meet these lofty goals the automaker works hard to make a between 10% and 15% efficiency improvement to each model vehicle every new model year. The automaker isn’t just stopping at its 2020 goal though, it also has an overarching goal to create a lineup that’s 90% more efficient by 2050. Sure that’s nearly 35 years out from now, but such a lofty goal is going to take time, and it’s much more aggressive than many other automakers today.
Electrifying its Vehicles
Another way that Volkswagen is working to improve its lineups efficiency is by making hybrid and full electric versions of its current vehicles. The automaker has plans to electrify at least 40 different models and is already actively working on making those changes. To help its electric vehicles succeed Volkswagen is also going to invest $10 million into charging infrastructure around the country so there are places to actually power up those vehicles.
Volkswagen works with 3degrees, a carbon offset broker to help improve the environment in other ways to offset the carbon produced during production. So for instance, the automaker might help fund the planting of so many trees per automobile that they produce. This funding goes to the aid of forest conservation and reforesting other sections of the earth. The efforts are closely monitored by third parties to ensure that carbon offset claims are accurate. When all the efforts Volkswagen is making to meet efficiency demands can’t keep up entirely the automaker relies on these carbon credits to make up the difference and to help reduce their environmental impact as well.
Volkswagen is going above and beyond what many other automakers today are doing to reduce its overall environment impact. As long as the company, and other automakers around the world keep working to make these improvements personal transportation will have less of an effect on the environment over time.
In a double premier last week at the Frankfurt Motor Show, Volkswagen unveiled two new and extremely efficient electric cars: the e-up! and e-Golf. The move transfers two of VWs full-production best-sellers into the era of electric mobility.
Both zero-emission cars are perfect for everyday use, leading the way in efficiency: in traveling 100 kms (62 miles), the e-up! consumes just 11.7 kWh of power, making it the efficiency world champion, as no rival matches this figure. Two classes larger, the e-Golf also achieves an excellent figure of 12.7 kWh/100 km.
The e-Golf will be powered by a 115-hp electric motor and a 24.2 kWh battery pack. Like the motor in the e-up!, it achieves speeds of up to 12,000 rpm and makes it maximum starting torque of 270 Nm available right from the off. Which means, even though electric cars are not known for their power or acceleration, the VW e-Golf achieves 0-60 mph in about 10 seconds before topping out at 94 mph.
From a single battery charge (18.7 kWh) the e-up! is capable of a range of up to 99 miles, while for the e-Golf, due to its larger battery (24.2 kWh), the figure is up to 118 miles. In both models, three intuitive driving modes (Normal, Eco and Eco+) and four equally easy to activate levels of regenerative braking (D1, D2, D3, and B) helps drivers to get the maximum range out of each charge.
Standard features include: automatic climate control, remote controlled parking heating/ventilation (air conditioning and heating), radio-navigation system, heated windscreen, alloy wheels, LED daytime running lights and in the case of the e-Golf all-LED headlights.
by: Zach McDonald – HybridCars.com
Last month, Volkswagen invited members of the automotive press to test drive its E-Bugster electric vehicle at the Laguna Seca track in Monterey, California. Since the concept reportedly cost $2 million to build, VW didn’t give the writers free reign with the car, electronically limiting its speed to 18 mph in an attempt to give journalists a taste of the experience without subjecting the prototype to the rigors of a typical test drive. Still, the tests represented the first chance anyone has had to drive car after its unveiling in Detroit earlier this year.
The E-Bugster concept shares most of its technology with the VW eGolf, which Volkswagen deployed in test fleets last year and will release in select markets in late-2013. Cosmetically, the car previews the latest design iteration of the Beetle convertible, which is expected to debut at auto shows later this year. The E-Bugster is powered by an 85-kilowatt electric motor connected to a 28.3 kilowatt-hour lithium ion battery (slightly larger than the eGolf’s), and is capable of a peak output of 114 horsepower.
VW says range for the car stands at 110 miles, and that when the drivetrain isn’t governed to remain below 18 mph (as it was in these test drives), it can accelerate from 0-60 in about 10 seconds. Inside the vehicle, test drivers were treated to rather stunning white-on-black styling, likely indicative of the overall look and feel of the forthcoming gas-powered Beetle convertible.
Volkswagen has announced no plans to sell the E-Bugster yet, and if it does, it will likely be a limited-release offering available only in select markets like California (where short-run green vehicles are useful in helping carmakers satisfy state emissions requirements). Still, it’s always positive to see automakers experiment with different electric drivetrain models and configurations―if only as a taste of what a more electrified vehicle market might someday look like.